Document Detail

Mating ecology of the nonpollinating fig wasps of Ficus ingens.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  10053089     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
The males of many fig wasps fight fatally for mating opportunities. The concentration of females in space has been proposed as one factor selecting for their aggressive behaviour. We studied the temporal distribution of receptive females to obtain a clearer impression of the operational sex ratio in figs. Females of nonpollinating species emerged from figs over a protracted period of time and this resulted in an extremely male-biased operational sex ratio, conducive to extreme fighting. Since there were so few receptive females at any one time, a male could defend an eclosing female. Consequently, the largest, Otitesella longicauda male in a fig had a much higher mating success than smaller males. This suggests that larger males have a larger fitness advantage than larger females and a Trivers-Willard effect could have important implications for sex allocation. Apterous and seemingly nondispersing males routinely left their figs. Such dispersal can affect both (1) sex allocation by reducing the degree of local mate competition between brothers and (2) male dimorphism by reducing the mating opportunities of males with a dispersing morphology. We show that the wingless digitata males of the Otitesella digitata species group disperse on to leaves close to their natal fig. An extremely male-biased sex ratio resulted in almost all O. longicauda females being mated. These findings suggest that the classical concept of the fig wasp mating system is too simplistic and that important assumptions of sex allocation models are violated. Copyright 1999 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.
Greeff; Ferguson
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Publication Detail:
Journal Detail:
Title:  Animal behaviour     Volume:  57     ISSN:  0003-3472     ISO Abbreviation:  Anim Behav     Publication Date:  1999 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1999-03-03     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0376746     Medline TA:  Anim Behav     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  215-222     Citation Subset:  -    
Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of Pretoria
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